Area rugs are an affordable and versatile way to liven up any living space. They provide a soft, warm place for your feet to land when you get out of bed, and can tie together the design elements in a room or create separation in open floor plans. However, if you want to get a lasting flooring life from your area rug, you need to regularly clean and maintain it. In today’s article, we’ll share seven simple steps for area rug cleaning. Perform these basic tasks to help your area rug withstand the test of time. how to clean area rug  

How To Clean Your Area Rug

Before you read this, check your area rug for a tag with cleaning information. If the manufacturing tag tells you how to clean your area rug, follow those instructions. Can’t find a guide for how to clean your area rug? No problem! Whatever material your area rug is made out of, this cleaning process will work for you. Follow this basic cleaning procedure to maintain your area rug.
  1. Start with the Right Settings. Set your vacuum to a lower speed. This reduces the airflow of the vacuum and prevents your area rug from getting stuck or ripped during cleaning.
  2. Regular Vacuuming. This is rug care 101. Vacuum your area rug on a regular basis to clean away dirt, dust and other grime that build up. You should vacuum at least once a week or more, as needed. Reversible rugs can be vacuumed on both sides. If your rug has any fringes on the edge, don’t vacuum these. Instead, brush away dust and dirt into a dustpan.
  3. Baking Soda and Vacuuming. Sprinkle a fine layer of baking soda across your area rug. Then, vacuum your area rug. This cleans your rug from dirt while neutralizing odors. You can do this everytime you vacuum, or whenever you feel the need for a deeper clean.
  4. Brush Away the Leftovers. Even the best vacuums don’t suck away everything. Use a coarse brush to get rid of the dust bunnies, pet dander and hair strands that may be left behind. Try and do this every time you vacuum your area rug.
  5. Shake It Out or Beat it Up. Roll up your area rug and take it outside. For smaller rugs that you can easily hold onto, just shake the rug to loosen embedded dirt and dust from the material. For larger rugs, you can hang them on a clothesline and then beat the dirt out of them with a stick. Repeat your shaking or beating process for both sides of your area rug. Beat or shake your rugs once a month.
  6. Clean Under Your Rug. When you remove your area rug from your home, be sure to clean the floor underneath the rug. Dirt that’s left unattended will just get right back in your clean rug. If you’re not removing your rug and you’re just vacuuming, roll up the edges and corners of your rug. Then, vacuum and/or sweep these areas clean.
  7. Rotate Your Rug. Turn the direction that your rug faces once every six months. This evens out natural wear and tear from foot traffic and sunlight. If your area rug is reversible, you can flip it once or twice a year.

Cleaning Area Rugs by Material

Along with the regular area rug cleaning and maintenance outlined above, there are some area rug materials that require special cleaning considerations. Here’s a list of common area rug materials and what you need to know.


Many cotton area rugs are safe to go in your washer. Check the tag on your rug, and if it’s made of cotton, you can wash it like you would your clothes. If it’s too big, follow the instructions for wool.


After vacuuming your area rug, mix cold water and laundry detergent in a bucket. Use a microfiber cloth to dab the surface of your area rug. Apply detergent and water to your cloth as needed. A light saturation of the rug’s surface is fine – you just don’t want it to seep through. Next, get a fresh bucket of cold water and dab your area rug with a fresh microfiber cloth. Finally, blot the rug dry with towels. Allow the rug to dry overnight before resuming regular use.

Synthetic Fibers

Take your rug outside and hang it on a clothesline. Use a garden hose and dishwasher detergent to clean your synthetic fiber area rug. Work the dish-washing liquid into the rug with a small scrub brush. Use gentle motions – don’t scour the area rug. Rinse the rug off completely until there are no more soap suds coming from the area rug. Let your synthetic fiber area rug dry out overnight before you lay it back down indoors.

Exotic Rugs

Persian, Oriental, and other special rugs should only be deep cleaned by a professional. Regularly vacuum your rug and the areas around and underneath it – but don’t try anything else, or you might damage it. You invested your money in an exceptional rug, invest in making it last as well!  

Call Carpet to Go for Area Rugs and More

Have further questions about how to clean your area rug? Is it time to purchase a new rug, carpet, or other types of flooring? Carpet to Go in Bellevue offers flooring solutions for everyone. Get a quality floor that won’t break your budget. Contact us now and see the area rugs and flooring services we have for you.

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